Royal Enfield doesn’t sell just motorcycles. It also has a wide range of apparels on offer, including a huge collection of riding gear. Whether you need a helmet, riding jacket, or a pair of riding gloves and boots, Royal Enfield has got you covered. The company has recently launched a brand-new collection of riding jackets which has been designed keeping in mind various customer requirements, and different weather and terrain conditions. It consists of seven products - from INR 4,950 Streetwind V2 to INR 14,950 Nirvik. The Royal Enfield Khardungla V2 sits at the second place from the top and this is our review of the same.
Aesthetics & Styling
We had the olive colour of the Royal Enfield Khardungla V2 riding jacket and my first reaction was, “Oh dang, is it available in any other shade?”. I quickly opened up Royal Enfield’s website to check and found the grey one to be slightly more attractive. However, to be honest, the olive colour kinda grew on me with time and I think the riding jacket looks much better while wearing rather looking up close or on the web.
The Royal Enfield Khardungla V2 comes with several front pockets, which I am not a fan of, but since this is essentially a touring jacket, it would be unfair to complain. It also has black patches at the elbows and shoulders which give the whole olive theme a break. There is a reasonably-sized reflective ‘Royal Enfield’ branding on the front left whereas the company has used a much bigger size for the one at the back.
Build Quality & Protection
The first time I picked up the Royal Enfield Khardungla V2 riding jacket, I found it to be quite heavy, which, in a way, highlighted its sturdy build quality. Its outer fabric is abrasion-resistant and high-density 600D 100% polyester. Royal Enfield has also used 610D polyester Cordura patches at the elbows and shoulders for an extra layer of protection. Cordura fabric is known for its durability and high resistance to abrasions, tears, and scuffs. The jacket comes bundled with a good-quality poly-filled thermal liner as well. Royal Enfield also provides a breathable rain-liner which is said to have a water resistance capacity of up to 8000mm.
As for the armours, the ones used at the chest and back are made up of EVA Foam, which isn’t the best option available in the market but it is better than having nothing, considering a lot of riding jackets omit the chest protection entirely. For the elbows and shoulders, we have the D3O - T5 EVO X / CE Level 2 certified armours. The trouser connection zipper allows attaching riding pants which would prevent the jacket from shifting up your body in case of a slide.
Storage & Fit
Being a touring jacket, storage is where the Royal Enfield Khardungla V2 shines. It has a total of 10 pockets - 2 waterproof front pockets, 1 waterproof pocket at the back, 2 chest pockets, 2 on the sides, and 3 inside. As for the fitting, I am slightly over 5-ft 6-in and weigh around 78 kg and was using the L size. While I found its fitting to be quite good, thanks to the several adjustment options located on the cuffs, waist, biceps, forearms, and collar, its sleeves were slightly longer for my arms.
Comfort & Feel
Since I mostly use a street-biased mesh jacket, it took me a while to get comfortable with the touring-focused textile-based Royal Enfield Khardungla V2. With temperatures dropping to low two digits here in the North, I used it along with the poly-filled thermal-liner, which did a decent job in keeping the cold out during my early morning rides. Since the mercury is supposed to drop even further as the end of the year approaches, I will update if this experience changes in any way.
Speaking of the thermal-liner, I really like how Royal Enfield has paid attention to the details and provided bright red coloured loops inside the sleeves of the riding jacket, which are easier to find and fasten the thermal-liner. Even with the thermal-liner attached, the Royal Enfield Khardungla V2 felt quite comfortable (more on this later). The company has used ribbed stretch panels at the elbows that sort of gives the necessary flex needed for that snug fit. I also liked the cushioned collar which ensured that I am not left with a chafed neck after a long ride.
Adhering to the touring focus, Royal Enfield has added several vents on this riding jacket. They are located at the front, back, forearms, and sidearms. So I am pretty confident that ventilation wouldn’t be a problem. However, thanks to the cold weather at the time of the testing, I didn’t use any of them.
One of the issues that I had with this riding jacket was with its cuffs. They seem to be a bit hard for my liking and interfered while putting on a pair of full-gauntlet riding gloves. Their hardness also caused a bit of discomfort near my wrists while riding as they were constantly pressed upon by the gloves. This is probably because the jacket was brand new and would still need more rides to break in properly. I am expecting them to get more comfortable with time.
Remember the heaviness of the jacket that I was earlier talking about? Well, since I tested it while riding my Royal Enfield Continental GT 650, which has a somewhat forward-biased riding position and isn’t the ideal motorcycle for touring, I did feel the weight of the jacket at times. While it wasn’t unsettling on highways, it did make me want to take a quick break when riding in the city. I felt that the jacket isn’t as comfortable as a dedicated street jacket would be with this posture. And it’s fine because the Khardungla V2 is primarily designed for long-distance touring. I think my entire experience would have been different if I’d been riding, let’s say, a Royal Enfield Himalayan, which has an upright and relaxed riding position.
Royal Enfield Khardungla V2 Riding Jacket Review - Verdict
The new Royal Enfield Khardungla V2 riding jacket ticks off many right boxes when it comes to touring. It is made up of good fabric and has CE Level 2 certified armour at the elbows and shoulders. Royal Enfield has also used Cordura fabric at the impact zones to provide that extra layer of protection. The company has also added some protection for the chest and back in the form of EVA Foam. You get thermal and rain-liners, too.
Overall, the Royal Enfield Khardungla V2 is a good package for those you primarily need an all-weather touring jacket at a reasonable price. While it can be used for city rides as well but that isn’t its forte. The jacket is available for INR 12,950 and the company sells it via its website and stores. However, it sits only INR 2,000 behind the Royal Enfield Nirvik which offers superior features such as:
- Sturdier outer fabric (500D 100% Nylon)
- Improved chest and back protection (D3O VIPER / CE Level 1 certified armour at the back and CE Level 2 certified armour at the chest)
- Enhanced ventilation
- Better adjustment mechanism
There are a few other options available in the market that offer similar specs as that of the Khardungla V2 and fall in the INR 11,000 to INR 12,000 range.